By G9ija

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Thursday closed its case in the alleged N1.4 billion money laundering trial of former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Paul Usoro (SAN) at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The case was closed after taking the evidence of EFCC’s second witness.

EFCC legal counsel Uduak Kufre told Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos that the prosecution was pleased with the evidence it had put forward in the case.

He prayed the court to discharge the agency’s second and last witness, Mr. Mohammed Arabo.

Responding, Mr. Effiong O. Effiong (SAN), who led three other Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), including Shina Sofola, as counsel to Usoro, informed the court of the defendant’s intention to file a “no case” submission.

Justice Aikawa adjourned till March 12 for adoption of the “no case” submission.

Paul Usoro was first arraigned for the alleged offence on December 18, 2018, before Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court.

He was re-arraigned on March 1, 2019 on a 10-count charge bordering on laundering money for some Akwa Ibom State government officials to the tune of N1.4 billion.

One of the counts against the defendant reads: “That you, Paul Usoro, SAN, Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune against criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan, Commissioner of Finance, Akwa Ibom State (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah, Accountant-General, Akwa Ibom State (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large), sometime in 2015 in Nigeria, conspired…to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of N1,410,000,000,000 property of the Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.”